Our spring garden bravely spurned out one last feat of strength and gave us a final heaping of spicy peppers and tomatoes. Now those plants that produced happy fruits for so long are crispy and weak, ready to be composted. The weeds have overgrown what used to be our tidy, flourishing little farm, and only the okra and basil remain. I don’t remember being quite this saddened by our garden’s end last year.
Gardening is an intriguing, albeit vicious cycle. We planned and prepped and worked so hard to get it up and running, maintained it through the influx of weeds, and savagely murdered the tiny pests that threatened to destroy each plant’s well-being. We took for granted the weeks when so much fruit was produced that we couldn’t pick it quickly enough, and I’m in an almost constant state of regret that I allowed so many freaking birds destroy my tomatoes. Now, we’re in a teeny bit of mourning that the spring veggies we so easily plucked from our backyard now have to be paid for and purchased at a grocery store. Just yesterday the boy bought a tomato and sadly informed me with puppy dog eyes that the insides were a watery pink, not a vibrant, fiery red like we had grown accustomed to.
I’ll stop complaining about my first world problems now…
We took the last reaping of spicy peppers and little cherry tomatoes and gave them an epic going away party via frittata. Frittatas are a simple, easy, incredibly delicious dish that smoothly transcends breakfast time and packs in the protein and savory satisfaction for lunch time. When we came home from our week long trip this summer and were greeted with an empty fridge (except for eggs) and a booming garden, frittatas were our saving grace. The beauty of them, like so many egg-based dishes, is that you can throw whatever is lurking in your fridge into the mix, and the eggs and heavy cream will quickly transform it all into one mouthwatering concoction that you’ll make at least 3 times in one week.
My first experience with a frittata was highly disappointing, which may be why it’s taken until this summer for me to make one at home. When I first tasted it at a local restaurant, it was overcooked, rubbery, and lacking in any punches of flavor. At home, however, I just threw all of the spicy peppers, spinach, and juicy breakfast sausage I could find in it, and I had a winner. Quick, simple, satisfying. Unlike quiche, there’s no finnicky dough to deal with. Unlike an omelette, there’s no tricky flipping or folding to master. Unlike a pancake, there’s actually protein and vitamins involved.
So go, whip up some eggs and a dab of heavy cream. Slowly saute whatever veggies make your heart go pitter-patter, and let yourself indulge in crumbly, fresh sausage – juices and all. Let alllll of this come together in your best-seasoned skillet on the stove top for a few minutes, sprinkle with your favorite cheese, then pop in the oven for a final setting. I served ours with a side of homemade skillet potatoes and a creamy avocado, and it made for one heck of a Saturday morning.
Spicy Sausage Frittata
3 poblano peppers
4 red chiles (or green hatch)
1 1/2 cup spinach leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
10 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb spicy ground sausage
1. In a skillet (cast iron, preferably), cook the sausage over medium heat until crumbly and cooked through. Scoop the meat out and set aside, reserving the leftover grease in the skillet.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheddar, and add a bit of salt and pepper.
3. Chop the peppers to your desired size. Heat the same skillet you used for the sausage with the leftover grease over medium heat, and add the peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. Cook until the peppers have softened and the spinach has wilted, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in the sausage and toss to combine.
4. Make sure the ingredients in the skillet are evenly distributed. Slowly pour in the egg, cream and cheese mixture, trying to evenly cover the peppers and sausage. Once poured, quickly use a spatula to distribute the egg to the edges of the skillet if need be. Let the frittata cook in the skillet over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until the edges start to set a bit.
5. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar cheese and place in an oven heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, or until the frittata is set in the center.